View From Under

(transcribed from scribble writing in the journal balanced on the belly under the sycamore)

Gazing up through leaves half gold, half green, I lie half prone, half sitting, half at rest, half in motion, half at peace and half in agitation. For what can one do with only a half?

The day before my leg surgery (vascular)last Friday I packed a box with art supplies, sketchbooks, journals, paints, pens, etc and made a nest of pillows and electronics on the living room sofa, with piles of books to read and listen to on CD, videos to watch, not to mention all those wonderful free online videos.  All this bribery seemed necessary to keep me still and prone for a week so my leg would heal.

Prone.  I thought of Frida Kahlo making art history while she painted for months while prone in her sickbed.  After I’d spilled the contents of a couple of meals, lovingly prepared and served to me by my husband, down my front while trying to balance a tray on my belly, my esteem for Kahlo soared and my sketchbooks remained untouched.

Today, Day 7 after surgery.  Last day to lie low and then emerge slowly, like a butterfly carefully drying its wings before take off. A hummingbird perches directly overhead making tiny cheap cheap murmurs just audible over the fountain’s gurgles.  For a moment I drop the trying to sit half and lie fully under the blanket of what’s above.  The swoop dancing play of a pair of hummingbirds now, the purple finch at the feeder.  The goldfinches bathing and drinking at the fountain where yesterday they came and perched while I took a moment to fill it with water.  Less than a foot from my face, for all of 30 seconds of wild eye to eye exchange of. . .what could it be but mutual gratitude?

And now that I’m “up” for the few moments at a time I’m allowed, I can stop and have a conversation with my chicks, always willing to direct that round eyed sharp beaked stare at me, or to send feathers flying as they flap over to me in hopes of a treat.

Why, from this upward viewing spot beneath the tree I can almost begin to catch snippets of bird dialogue.  I am utterly enthralled and must accept that here in midday Friday the world is quite complete with hardly an ounce of activity from me.



    1. No Salmon Faverole. I have two Delawares (white), a silver laced wyandotte, blond and tawney Americuanas, and two Speckled Sussex, not pictured. Two of the flock are little roosters which will have to go – the most beautiful ones of course!


  1. I’m glad you’re mending nicely, Susan. Sometimes surgery can be a gift—a door to another dimension of observation…right in your own back yard! I really enjoyed reading about it.


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